Trump’s approval rating is at 40.7 after monthlong decline

I’m overdue to update my effort to track the ups and downs of the approval ratings of the current occupant of the Oval Office, one Donald Trump.

The most recent movement is bad for the president, but only slightly and, as usual, I must hasten to note that the basic story remains the same — which is that the leader of the executive branch has a very bad approval rating, the worst ever by many measures, as he has throughout his term, but also an amazingly stable approval rating.

To cut to the chase, the last month has been the worst for the Trumpian approval picture in quite a while. He has been “under water” (more disapprovers than approvers) since the first few days after his inauguration, which is historically unprecedented.

But when I say it is in some ways the worst ever, it is not the lowest ever. Several presidents have been lower bottoms (as you can see here in the Gallup archive). Trump has the historically lowest highs and it is historically unprecedented, by a huge margin, for any president to be under water during his entire first term.

His current number, as measured by, is 40.7 approval, 54.4 percent disapproval. This gap, on the bad side by 13.7 percentage points, is the biggest in several months, but roughly comparable to where it was last September, after which it bounced back. The current numbers are not the worst he has had (that would have been December of 2017, when the gap was briefly over 20 points, according to, the Nate Silver-led tracking site).

So the most noteworthy thing I can say about the current numbers are they reflect the steadiest decline and the lowest point in the last few months, which put them back to roughly where they were last September. If they continue to drop as they have over the past month (and I have no idea whether that will occur), the numbers will soon approach his all-time worst, which occurred in December of 2017, 36.7 percent approval, 56.8 disapproval.

By the way, I’m now relying mostly on Gallup, which used to put out a weekly average rating on which I relied, has stopped doing that, and on a big blend of many polls by HuffPost. The 538 chart shows a steady decline in Trump’s approval since late November. If that keeps up (and I claim no intuitive ability to foresee whether it will), Trump might test his old lows.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/14/2019 - 03:25 pm.

    But the poll most concerning to Individual-1 consists of two people–Putin and Mueller (carrot and stick).

  2. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/14/2019 - 06:08 pm.

    Well it is astounding that 40.7% of Americans continue to support a guy that has a 70% record on lying, 1/2 dozen or so of his campaign team indicted and convicted, couple what 3-4 of his staffers resigned because of pending corruption charges, the president himself embroiled in what a dozen lawsuits ranging from fraud to self dealing the office of the president for personal gain. Yes it really does beg the question from here in the silo, who are these folks and what is their rationale for supporting this guy? Do they not venture outside their, if it isn’t good a about Trump its gotta be wrong, world? At some point don’t you say, 95% of the media, and 95% of the FBI etc. can’t be wrong 95% of the time? The 40.7% is really the sorry state of America story. Apparently we really do have an, Education problem, especially telling truth from fiction, and reality from fantasy. But hey, do you think any of those folks are listening?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/15/2019 - 09:13 am.

      Is it ignorance or apathy?
      I don’t know and I don’t care.
      In other words, for one tribe it’s all about winning — if necessary (it seldom is) they’ll invoke the ‘everybody does it’ meme.

    • Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 01/15/2019 - 11:17 am.

      I will never understand why Trump’s approval rating hasn’t been zero all along. If voters had read all of the exposes’ written since the ’80s, and if the media during the 2016 presidential election campaign had shared that information, more informed choices would have been made.

      If civics was still taught in all schools, and political awareness and regular involvement was the norm, outcomes would be improved.

      If history wasn’t being altered or erased in red state schools, their constituents would be more accurately informed, which would help them resist the FOX and other R wing propaganda spewed 24/7.

      If more folks had well developed critical thinking skills, Trump and his cruel and corrupt regime would be fought more vigorously, by more Americans.

      If, if, if………

  3. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/15/2019 - 11:56 am.

    We have to understand that something truly devastating about their own self-concept is at stake for Trump supporters, if ever they begin to doubt his projected image and the “truth” of what he says. about the weird things he does

    They NEED him to be their hero, to forestall their own fears, resentments, anxieties, and hatreds (for minorities, mostly). Their support for Trump is all about them, not him.

    I’m not talking about the financial and political elites who support Trump for private interests of their own–gigantic tax breaks, destruction of any state-imposed regulations that restrict what they can do to consumers or the environment. These are cynics who are holding their noses and benefiting directly from his corruption, and his administration’s corruption.

    I’m talking about the average Joe and Jane who deliberately do not read widely, who deliberately do not go outside their silo or bubble. Once they do, they have to face their complicity in–and it looks like it’s really true–Trump’s stupidly putting himself in the hands, in the control, of Vladimir Putin.

    The central question of today: Why has Trump insisted on total secrecy about his meetings one-on-one with Putin? Why did he destroy the interpreter’s notes and insist that the interpreter[s] keep absolute silence about what went on at G7, at Hamburg, at Helsinki, and, of course, on the phone? There is no record anywhere of what has gone on between Trump and Putin–anywhere! What is Trump hiding? What has he done to the United States through his ignorance and duplicity?

    What Trumpites do with this Russia information will be crucial: Either they’re for the United States of America, or they’re for Donald J. Trump come hell or high water. I feel honestly sorry for all those who support Trump blindly.

  4. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 01/15/2019 - 11:56 am.

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    You have a % of the population that so hate Democrats and liberals that they ignore Trumps failings. In spite of his actions that go directly against their political views: tariffs that increase prices in the US and then reduce our market for farm commodities, corporate tax giveaways that increase the deficit,

    And then their echo chamber just reinforces that view.

    The only thing that would shake these diehard “approvers” would be if Nancy Pelosi – their devil incarnate – were to publicly praise Trump.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/15/2019 - 12:16 pm.

    And here’s my if: What if the Dems had not nominated a highly unpopular candidate, and gone with one who did not insist on campaign events that only allowed a small number of supporters to attend in a tightly control environment?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/15/2019 - 03:46 pm.

      She only received 3 million more popular votes than her opponent.
      That’s unpopular?

      • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 01/16/2019 - 04:08 am.

        The most unpopular candidate was put forth by the DNC. With both parties beholden to the military industrial complex, Wall Street, and large corporations, many cast votes for the lesser of two evils, went with a third party candidate, or simply stayed home.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/16/2019 - 09:40 am.

          ‘Least popular’ is not the same as ‘unpopular’.
          With all the flaws, and rigging that is still being revealed (although Comey’s last minute statement is no secret) she still won the popular vote.
          What other candidates might have done is speculation.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/15/2019 - 04:01 pm.

      More rehashing of 2016?

  6. Submitted by Kathleen Castrovinci on 01/16/2019 - 01:48 am.

    Trump’s poll numbers will continue to plummet the longer this shutdown continues. Already, I am reading all over the internet that he is losing the non-college educated white voter.. The “poorly educated” he said he loved so much.


    Those that consider Trump their savior, will stick by him no matter how badly he turns on them. Be they Farmers who are waiting out what he does with Trade with China. Federal workers who want a wall at THEIR expense. To those willing to have benefits taken away from them who live in states that went for him in 2016.

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